menu icon
search icon button
warning icon We need your help finding a person to lead K12IRC.   Learn More   •   Hide This Message

About Us

Virtual Public Library Instructional Media Center logo

Our Story

Back in the 1995, the Internet as we know it today was just getting organized. There were only 23,500 web sites on the entire Internet (vs. 1.6 billion sites in 2019). Yahoo's tree index – a collection of static web pages – was the "Google" of the day.

The National Science Foundation saw a need for an index site like Yahoo, but dedicated specifically to educators, explaining the Internet and indexing and organizing education specific resources.

The Virtual Public Library - Instructional Media Center  - - was the result of that 1995 NSF initiative.

As with most initiatives, funding eventually ended for the web site. Rather than shutting down this resource, Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum, one of the original site creators, adopted the site on behalf of the Bonnie and Marty Tenenbaum Foundation.

Over the years this site has gone thru a number of reorganizations – and a couple of name changes – as it adjusts to the evolution of the Internet and the changing needs of its core audience, the K-12 education community.

Today, rather than trying to be all things to all people, we focus on highlighting best-of-breed resources, ideas for interdisciplinary learning, and to be a clearinghouse for educator concerns and needs.

We receive no advertising, government, or corporate funding. This allows us to be an independent voice, indexing the-best-of-the-web for the K-12 education community without restrictions or agenda.

Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum - Librarian

Bonnie Tenenbaum
Dr. Tenenbaum was instrumental in the creation of the library and continued to curate content and provide guidance right up until her passing in October, 2020. She will be greatly missed.

You can learn more about Bonnie here.

We are an entirely-free-to-use resource for the K-12 community. There are no payment, registration or e-mail address requirements. is a project of the Bonnie and Marty Tenenbaum Foundation. They cover all site costs. We receive no advertising, corporate or government funding.

This Internet Resource Center catalogs over 2,500 web and video resources. Dive in and learn something new. Do a search, check out some suggestions, or scan the Table of Contents to see all the topics we index.

If you'd like to stay informed, join our quarterly newsletter mailing list.

Chris Daley - Webmaster

Chris Daley

Chris Daley, owner of Lodestone Systems, is the webmaster for He created all the programing used for the current site and helps maintain the collection.

Additional Thanks

Richard "Rick" Loek provided the initial programming support when Dr. Tenenbaum (on behalf of the Bonnie and Marty Tenenbaum Foundation) first adopted the site.

Alice K12IRC site logo
Cinthia Schmidt was instrumental in the "makeover" of Alice, our site mascot.

treasure chest with magnifying glass and musical note
Jason Grotte created a great set of icons that were used in an earlier version of this site.

Joaquin Mariscales contributed additional artwork and layout ideas for the site. flyer - Totally Free Resources For Teachers

Help Spread The Word

We have postcard flyers and a downloadable flyer image available free for the asking.

Leave some in your break room or distribute them at meetings or professional development events.  learn more...

larger image of

image of

Lodestone Systems

Lodestone Systems has been involved with the site since 1999 and provides web site hosting and technical support.

larger image of

image of

National Science Foundation

This Internet Resource Center was originally developed in part under the auspices of the National Science Foundation through a contract to TERC in Cambridge, MA with a subcontract to CommerceNet.

No endorsement of the contents of this site by NSF is implied.

larger image of

image of


The Technical Education Research Centers (now just TERC) was one of the organizations originally involved in creating this Internet Resource Center.

larger image of

image of


CommerceNet did much of the original work to create the web site, and provided web hosting thru May, 2000.

Alice sitting at library lobby desk circa 1998

More History...

Learn more about the history of by viewing our archives of talks and publications.  → 

Home | Search | What's New | Videos | Flyers | F.A.Q. | Table of Contents | Privacy | Sign In

Ideas and inspiration for the K-12 community.

© 1996 - 2021 Bonnie and Marty Tenenbaum Foundation -- Coding and hosting by Lodestone Systems